Archives for posts with tag: Fleeting Pixel

Who in this world knows anything of any other heart – or of his own?
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

So we went into the mist | and it wasn’t figural mist, or symbolic mist | or ironic mist, it was just, you know, mist… | But that wasn’t here | We were just starting to fall in love, or at least | I was | Shoes fall out of the sky, shoes, coats, laptops | scattered over a wide area | paper and nylons | over 13 kilometres | if we didn’t know better | we might have thought it was biblical | What were other people | doing with their lives? | I could have been one of Noah’s neighbours, wondering | what was he up to, building that huge ship | in the middle of the desert? | I would have been puzzled | watching him every day | in that hard, dry, stony place | working away | on his project | I would have been tender, but superior | tender, though | in that nascent stage of love before | love’s paranoia | really took hold | three vultures in a tree nearby | might have squawked | desultorily | and Noah would have ignored me | just concentrated | on planing at timbers | scuffing curly shavings from the rough cedar | and I would have slipped away | towards my rendezvous with you | thinking of Noah, or of the pink shoe | lying on the ground | the laptops, the burst | suitcases | all the casual wreckage | strewn around | other people’s lives | In the woods it was cool, and damp | if anything, the mist | deepened | your fleece grew sodden | our skin and hair | visibility was poor | for some reason, I was afraid | to kiss you | already scared | I’d been mistaken | that you didn’t, really, care for me | that I would run out of petals | at the wrong place…

It could have been any one of many other | stories | We packed her Gruffalo, her little pink shoes | for her little pink feet | the brush for the hair she would brush | the books for the words she would read | She rose to be CEO | He contributed significantly | to the development | of the parachute | He compiled a list of all the | airline disasters… | You understand | In the meadow with the buttercups | in a world before nostalgia | was invented | or in a restaurant in the Shard | loaned those moments of godhead | money can provide | my ego | alternatively ballooning | or withering to a dot | She loves me: She loves me — | Drinking espresso martinis | forgetting the gist of my speech | the gentleness I meant | to show | Taking an age | to correct the face | in the sloppy mirror | Kissing you at precisely the right moment | meticulously | sorting the papers | Carefully, carefully | packing the wreckage••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, November 2015)

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Blew up out of nothing | as, perhaps, most things do | For the ripples in the pool when the raindrops fall | Even the monuments, like that, bloom | into our views of them, as we bloom | to ourselves | For the mild, faintly gritty air, near the junction and the hotel, where, in summer | young people | wait at the lights in their cars | playing hip hop or dubstep, the windows open | As dreams do | As the famous old story of sharks and marlin | did on that day | For the sleep that was coming on | my senses | flushed to their peak, diluted to the surface | of my skin — just hanging on | As thoughts do, blew | up out of nothing | Passed, of course, as the rain did | and the water lily | and the pool | For the ripples, radiated out | from the electric centre | and images of the hotel | bevelled and rolled | and at night, when the rain fell | the reflections in red and cream | flowed and formed and flowed again | As moments do | As sleep must do | For Mos Def, and Magnetic Man, for the new old and the new new school | As summer must do | London faded | and across the world | the great cities | faded from our view of them | faded and | blew up out of nothing | For the ripples in the pool | young people | waiting for the lights to change | at the junction near the hotel | and I was just hanging on — hard work had tired me out, and my senses | were flushed through by incipient sleep | that was coming on | and my skin | felt diluted by weariness | blown | fuzzy at the edges, at once | more numb and more receptive | presented | a more uncertain interface | and passed | As the words, too | For the mouths | forming their “oh”… | their “om”, their “ohm”, their “origin”, their “Oh — you” | Their Rome | our dusk | by the river | Our storm | Up, out of nothing | blew

Floating states | an unfinished work | Carefully inscribed | in cool and extensive detail | as in one of the stern and intricate prints | of Albrecht Dürer | Yearning for a clear moral | I couldn’t help but fear | that the clarity and elegance of the lines | etched with such grace and precision | merely, and ultimately, emphasised their own reliance on the space | they divided and yet | could never conquer | The blank copper of the engraver’s plate | and not the incision made | is the material fate of each and every | performance of distinction | This was my fear••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, May 2016)

Just as is | Oh, that old | chestnut? | Booze oozing from every pore | directions come for us | with rooks, squalor, glint of isosceles | sail from the other | side of the harbour | A huge mountain of detritus | we call order | a leviathan | of fish-hooks, ladders, wheels, gullets | allegory | of Plain Fact and the River of Metaphor | dust mounds of details | the whole shebang never | quite whole… | I woke up next to her | we were young | she was already awake | the fifteen flames and tiger lilies and inevitable | stardust | compelling and bemusing | where did the | wheels come from? | Off-fallen…

Maze, not made with ends | in mind | not made by mind | to end | not wrested | to mortal humour | not wrangled | to finite wishes | the watch | much larger on your wrist than you | might think | Oho! | Look who’s coming! | POLITICS | with their pitchforks and stocks | listen to the underground | oratory of where | your nerves are being slowly but ineluctably | bonded and harnessed | it is our brave hero, The Market, rolling the chambers of his beautiful gun | striding in silver gelatin | with Custer curls and Garbo sighs | into our ghetto | Who should live? Let The Market decide! | Where should we mine | for data or helium? | Ask The Market: he will know | What should we do | with the weak, even the weak | wolves, not just | the ladybirds, the honey bees? | Don’t worry, they will be alright, or at least | they are not your concern | The Market will decide | Bored with morals? Me too! | Let’s gentrify this borough | rid it of citizens | not so good with their | long division | who worked its character in | through poverty but now | dishevel the streets | disturb our Muse and our metaphysics | pester us | with their repeated | shortcomings, their all-too-human | limps and death metal and the mirrors | of their forms | crooked, of course, not fit | to reflect us | bug-munching | Calibans | under the floorboards, lounging in scuzzy bars | needing work | on their teeth, needing | better drugs | better, and more… Better, and more… | Well, fuck POLITICS! | Who wants them? | Maze comes with a maze’s sun: unhappy with this maze? | Get another one••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, May 2014)

I am coughing, and the cough | follows me like a pet | Each evening I drink | a concoction of dust | in plain water | this will cure me | I’m sure | My sons work | in the aerospace industry | I | stay close to my church | my arteries | branch and branch… | Out of my guts | once they are sifted | they may drag | the pebbles, the sharp | fragments of quartz | little mounds of powdered calcium | the bones | among the ashes | they will give forth | pansies and worts | mosses, the fan | shaped lichens on gravestones | Reduce me | I beg of them | pull down my spine | into the horns of gazelles | the liquorice | trundle of snails | and that | option on the sky | fill it with the squeak | of petrol-blue swallows | At the top | far higher | than the fairy mines | of viruses | there are equations | sermons | parsings | of clauses and times | a spindly fuss | with measures like microns and zettaFLOPS | My sons | make good incomes | my sons | visit rarely | they are good people | I think | they lead good lives | I imagine | far off | in the valley | Up here | in the mountains | I cough | and cough | the air is clear | the water is pure | the marble | will stand | and my cough | follows me | and I | seeking the cure | drink down my dust

There was amazing progress from the team | goals achieved and fresh targets set | we were achieving achieving achieving | in the labs | polycarbonate | lift and drag | unique | identifiers | Other, 7 | Our professor | droned through the lecture | a thing | is the meaning of a thing | The point of the mountain | is in climbing the mountain | Ralph decided | he didn’t hear | what the avalanche said | Increasing production | reducing staff | more from less | we were kept busy | in our free time | there was the yacht and the cinema | At night | as if from a mine shaft | rising up | from the void | where “it all started” | sometimes at least | we couldn’t sleep | haunted | by the arid echoes | of a cough, cough, cough…


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, May 2013)

Lining my words with silence, backing a mirror | with silver / And in the delicate chasm | between | you enter, like a week in strangers / HOTEL ROOM / and when you leave | it is not you

It was never you••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, May 2012)

Halving one’s heart | turning it over like a stone | watching the golden insects scatter | and the worms | pitched into the blaze of the sun | search for the earth and their true | element again |     | An envelope | falls out of a notebook | and the words | wriggle to sense and a glance, then | bury the lightning with the whole storm |     | In the immense | flash of the event | you lie alone | in what is left of heaven | calm | with pieces of strangers | lifted in what, once, you called | your hands

In a fork in the moment | we paused and a shadow went over the sun |     | Rome was built in that day |     | Stragglers | from the picnic | in a 19th | century novel | fell to talking of horses, then land, and so | to love |     | It will soon rain, and we | must hurry to the next thing, hoping it will form | a shelter of some kind | flexible as an unread book | passing like a lost affair | enduring like a stone••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, May 2013)

Serve me | Bring me water | when I need water | and I need water | Bring me my shoe | in your mouth | keep your hands free | for balance | for the work | Headwinds | have a use for you | in crosswinds | form an echelon | with my other servants | hear their talk of “claims” and “triumphs” | for some Brahms, for others techno, or economics | will you listen | so hard to them? | Bring me water | Be serious, dour | lack imagination, that’s fine, that’s an advantage | narrow and narrow yourself | you’re not beautiful, beauty is | irrelevant to you | beauty, acclaim, glory | are mere distractions for you | all the vapid bric-a-brac | of concepts and debate, dissent and premise | all the tinkling academia of steeples and liberty, telos and penury | irrelevant to you | for you have work | and in the work you are greater | than anyone | in work you are allowed | to be no one | serve me | Bring me my book | at night, before I sleep, talk to me of your claims, your triumphs | tell me | the tittle-tattle and the news | of the latest | peaks and breakthroughs | to me, it will do | for a lullaby | you are so boring | good | just do as you’re told | and don’t deviate | don’t care | and if you hear | the sound of sleigh-bells in the snow | that sweetly crystallising music | let it go | curiosity is a flaw | in the perfect drone | you understand | you have no right | to the witty remarks, or the superbly turned | tale | you realise | the nature of such | a fundamental mistake | you have no race | to lose or even, in the end, to run | you know | you cannot ever use or be | the first person••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, August 2016)

Adrift again. So much so, to misplace a sea | misplace | drifting itself — no islands, no talk of shore, not for hours | This Sunday | stretches out | long after Christ can have | any use for it | we give up pushing our cart, pram wheel | will not fit | and we do not care | for Saint-Just or Montesquieu | or for the elaborate atlases | trapped under glass and the air | of foreign power | invades our senses | with the hopeless | strength of ignorance | is repelled | Tant pis! | To get home, we must first | have a home | The clouds, summer monsters, glide slowly, so slowly | and always as they glide their shapes | mutate | subtly, across the surface of the cloud | lilac grey shadows flow | slowly, so slowly | the clouds’ topography is liquid | their contours forever shifting | the mass of vapour | travels but is | unoccupied | no cloud girls, no cloud boys | inhabit those great white lands, their ghosts of mountains | without climbers, sans conquerors | flags | lost picks or spools of rotting rope | defy our logic, defy our dreams, defy | even our boredom | North, to a cooler country | soon, to a better road | when we are ready | to run under a rising moon | Yes, eventually | North | Soon

We cannot escape the relentless inquisition of our dreams | nor should we | An irrational politician | insists on reasons for staying or going: we listen | to Chicago house or bulletins | from a crisis | or nightingales in Kaspars’ Orchard | these are superficial sounds | they offer | superficial signals to obey or to | refuse | there is a more fundamental tide | holds us in its sway | a sirens’ quiet song, there are | primroses in the meadow, the fingers | and the back of the hand | the earth | the back of the head | the earth | and the inevitable | blue vacuum of the sky | offer only superficial signals | to refuse or to obey | and we do | A dream, with mountains and seas, such as are on the moon, hoves into view | exerts its illogical gravity, and we | following the map of an impulse | choose the valley or the villa in Crete | the wrong | word | the wrong | decision | and then fret, as ever, on possible consequences | and the dream, monstrous, drifts overhead | enforcing its progress in a glide of shadow | rendering, as in a scene | from a 1950s western | of wagons ringed around | circled by Red Indians, each in bright, tiny-coloured headdress | or feathers | a model of our reasons | and the prairie intimated | by a fading green ocean | panning away | to Simone | in Kaspars’ Orchard | or somewhere | or someone••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, May 2016)

I don’t have feelings anymore, only habits | so I watch the world go by from car windows | train windows | These are distillates now, a bottle of echoes | and so it goes | very slowly | dig up a little from the dirt | some more dust | under the dirt | inside the bottle where the breakings are | the scraping of remains | and the earth very dry | It’s the kind of bottle | gets kicked by a passing kid | in an independent film | from the early 2000s | Faces | rise very slowly | heads, really | rise very slowly | like bubbles | in a liquid | in the bottle | in the memory | of the feelings | It’s only personal, it doesn’t | go too far | A rope swing | under the willow | abandoned farms | and the drought | years in | too arid | to be biblical or symbolic | of anything and besides | there’s no one here to | be faithless, or | to be symbolised | Sad, lost souls, like | drug saints in nirvanas | they’re always muttering | and I saw you with Eric Sigurdsson and some other people | I couldn’t | hear a word you say | In the ear | and the intricate | machinery of nerves and receptors | echoes are conjured | from the desert | and a dark green car | a battered Lincoln | drives off | to the only viable place | left to survivors: away

The kid | runs down the smalltown street | adult smalltalk | simmering in his head | talk of strike threats and the Knicks | the bottle spins then | stops spinning | You dream | of cutting ties | but the knots | are all you’re left with | the drought | the familiar | scenes | the trucks on the highway | the passing trains | the ropes | around neck and wrist | ankles and waist | the guitar strings | in the dust | you dream | of making ties | the place | she dropped | the car keys | the taste of Jack or the last | colour of the sky | to rock gods in their forties••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, May 2015)

Thoughts move over a day | The shadows of clouds move across a landscape | touching | neither the earth nor the sun

Clouds moving over an April sun | Thoughts of empire or starfish / Exiles from a city of light / shadows banging at the gates / asking to be let in again / begging for a little lukewarm saltwater or a golden crown

Starfish shadows | Five-pointed words, giving them edge | Eyes move over a poem, and words | touch

As for these clouds, drifting across an empty pixel sky, they touch | nothing••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, April 2012)